"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." James 1:2-3
We had a women’s event at church this weekend called Lemonade, and the theme was “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I’ve heard this saying hundreds of times, but for some reason, as I was planning and prepping for the event, I kept mixing it up and saying, “make lemons out of lemonade.” I consider this a happy accident because it really got me thinking of how we view the lemons in our lives.
At the very beginning of the book of James, he says, “whenever you face trials of many kinds.” He doesn’t say if, or maybe you will, or when you possibly. He says whenever, in other words, trials are inevitable. They will come no matter what so how are you going to react when they come? If we keep reading, we know that we are supposed to persevere, consider these trials as joy, and stay faithful. Make lemons out of lemonade!
But, you know what? Life isn’t all bad. Sometimes, we already have lemonade and have developed a habit of looking past the sugar and water and only seeing the lemons. We focus on the sour things in our lives and disregard all the good that God is doing. Do you do that? Do you tend to focus on the lemons in your life? Maybe the circumstances in your life don’t need to change, maybe you do.
Here are three bad lemon habits that you might need to break so you can focus on the lemonade in your life.
Maybe twenty good things happened to you today, but you’re only focusing on the one bad thing that happened. It’s all you can think about so you end up forgetting about all the good things that have happened. Take some time to physically make a list of all the good things in your life or even that day. Seeing this list will be a reminder that the good outweighs the bad and it will help redirect your mind to the good.
Psalm 31:19 “How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.”
Maybe there’s a situation in your life that has fifty different outcomes and one of them is bad. Do you assume that one bad solution is going to be the result or do you realize there are so many other possibilities? Maybe you need to write down all the good outcomes or maybe you just need to replay all of them in your mind. Trust that God has everything under control and he doesn’t have the worst thing planned for you.
Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Are you having a bad day? Is it because it’s a legitimate bad day or did one bad thing happen that you’ve chosen to dwell on all day, therefore resulting in a self-driven bad day? Maybe one bad thing happened that you keep replaying in your mind and it’s blinding you to everything else. Spend time in God’s Word. Focus on the truth of Scripture and distract yourself from that one bad thing that you are allowing to ruin your day.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
If you see any of the above in yourself, I encourage you to stop turning your lemonade back into lemons and break these habits with the help of God! You’re never too old, too young, or too far off to get his help. Start developing a habit of looking for the good in your life!